2002 Billecart-Salmon Nicolas Francois Billecart Brut

Year: 2002
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 95+
Vinous Media: 97
James Suckling: 98
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
$169.95

2016 James Suckling Top 100: #82

"There's a buoyant, almost ethereal quality to this elegant Champagne, offering a rich range of blackberry pâte de fruit, crystallized honey, grilled nut and oyster shell flavors, set on a fine, chalky mousse. Long and mouthwatering, with a clean, citrus-infused finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported. -AN" (WS)

"Disgorged in April 2016, after 13 years on the lees in bottle, Billecart-Salmon's recent release of the 2002 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is an amazing wine for lovers of matured, pure and spicy Champagnes. This is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir (from premier and grand crus of the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne) and 40% Chardonnay (from the Côte des Blancs), with 20% vinified in oak barrels. It opens with a deep, rich, intense, pure and chalky bouquet with ripe, yellow-fleshed stone fruits, citrus fruits and beautiful bottle maturity. This is quite mature compared to the 2002 Clos Saint-Hilaire, and this might be due to the cork, which came out of the bottle neck far too easy. This 2002 is rich but more vinous now than the bright and highly delicate 2006. The palate is pretty intense, dense and viscous, while the finish is refined and pure, with vibrant freshness and gastronomic grip. It is slightly drying, though. This is a very complex, round and intense 2002 with very fine bubbles. It should be served with poultry or turbot in a creamy sauce, as recommended by Billecart's chef de cave, Florent Nys. Tasted from lot L112A675 44251 in November 2018. There might be even better, fresher bottles than this." (WA)

"A mesmerizing, thrilling Champagne, the 2002 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is a great example of the vintage at its best. Silky and racy on the palate, yet a bit more restrained than many wines of the year, the Nicolas François Billecart remains vivid and remarkably nuanced. Brioche. apricot jam, wild flowers and honey are some of the many notes that blossom as the Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart shows off its voluptuous personality. The 2002 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay." (VM)

"Very impressive depth and detail here. The freshness is staggering. Citrus and grilled-hazelnut aromas lead to a palate that has a very concentrated, slightly creamy and taut feel. Super long and dense with lemon curd, white peaches and a toasty build to the finish. Superb! Drink or hold. " (JS)

"With its ripe fruits, rich texture and layers of toast, this is a great wine. It shows the quality of the great 2002 vintage brilliantly. It's complex and concentrated with an array of mature fruit flavors that combine to a structured whole. It will improve with age, so drink this great Champagne through 2025 and perhaps longer." (WE)